COLLEGE PROJECT GONE WILD!

COLLEGE PROJECT GONE WILD!

While a senior at Bennett College for Women majoring in Mass Communication, I was challenged in my public relations class to create a campaign for a business. I created a business of my own that I called Essence Teen Magazine. With the mission and vision of the actual Essence Magazine, Essence Teen solely focused on the needs of African-American girls. I worked day in and day out on this project. My close friends, Brandon Johnson and Bennett sister Natalie Jordan, helped me create my final assignment for the class. Based on the content and presentation, I actually received an “A” on the project. My professor even said she was going to use my project as a sample for students the next year.

Months later I called Brandon and Natalie, and we tried to get this magazine together. We had several conference calls to figure out the best way to create our product. While our attempts were promising, they were not fruitful.
Six years later, I expressed my idea to my mentor – now chief operations officer of SOCIALgrlz LLC. When she was in business school, she asked me to send her my ideas about my magazine. She took my 10-page idea and turned it into a 40-page business plan. With the business plan in place, and after several conversations with friends and family, my idea had meaning. And soon SOCIALgrlz LLC had a face.
SOCIALgrlz LLC is a social community designed for African-American girls between the ages of 13 and 17. The website and mobile application will provide vital information for African-American girls to assist them with self-esteem, social issues and educational information. The application also will provide an opportunity for African-American girls to interact with one another and discuss issues, trends and fashion know-how, as well as obtain advice on various issues from experts in the fields of health, beauty, education and other pertinent areas.
During the development of this project, I became determined to do my part and use my experience along with the combined experiences of several experts to speak to that young female who looks like me and comes from a similar background. After presenting my concept to several individuals – including business savvy individuals – I began to see my college project take flight with a personality of its own.
But this could not have occurred without the encouragement of my grandmother, Odessa McClary, a former news reporter for the Toledo Blade, and individuals who believe in the beauty of my dream.
I have always been committed to working with and on behalf of African-American girls. SOCIALgrlz LLC exists because our girls do not have a safe space to learn from each other. Our girls have a voice and a story. SOCIALgrlz LLC will provide our girls with a place where they can be encouraged, learn from one another, and know that their presence is valued in today’s society.
Enjoy the site and remember: This is Your Voice. Your Story!

Marissa M. Jennings
CEO